California is the most diverse state in the United States, and with a population of more than 36 million people, it is the most populous state. California is famous for its beautiful coastline and beaches, and also for its mountainous middle and upper interior, as well as its arid deserts to the south. California has eight of the largest U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, which is the second largest U.S. city.
First colonized by Mexico, it was part of the Mexican Empire and later republic. American settlers seeking riches during the California Gold Rush declared the state independent in 1846. After the Mexican-American war, Mexico surrendered possession to the United States and it was admitted into the union as a state in 1850.
The Gold Rush brought settlers to the state which grew the settlements of San Francisco and the surrounding areas into the culturally rich metropolitan area that it is today. Later, in the early part of the 20th century, Los Angeles, because of its temperate climate and year round sunshine, developed into the world entertainment capital and home to the many famous movie stars and TV actors. Also known as LA, and acclaimed for its beaches and glamour, it stretches its metropolitan flavor for miles to the north and south into Orange County, which is a bustling collection of communities and once known for its fruit trees and orange groves.
Further to the south sits San Diego, the nation’s 9th largest city, and the largest city closest to the Mexican border. San Diego offers a variety of things to do including beach activities with several beaches around the city and to the north of the city, and its close proximity to Mexico gives easy access to making a short trip across the border.
The capital city is Sacramento, miles northeast of San Francisco, and more of a medium size city. Sacramento might lack the charm of San Francisco and the sophistication of Los Angeles, but nevertheless serves as the seat of government and is far away from the distractions of a larger venue.
The Silicone Valley, between San Francisco and Sacramento is the home to some of the world’s most high tech businesses. San Jose, the centerpiece of the famous valley sits in a basin between mountains and is the epicenter of the world’s latest electronic technology. Known to be the birthplace of such modern companies as Hewlett-Packard and Apple, many start-up companies reside next to the larger, older corporations nesting the new and the old to create new products every day.
Those who drive through the state, notice the versatility of the terrain, the climate, the people, and the population density as they head north from the warm desert and heavily populated coastline of southern California, through the vast farming communities and endless fields in the central part of the state, now known for its vegetable and fruit harvest, and further north through the high majestic Sierra mountains, dense with huge trees and an abundance of snow in the winter months. California’s beautiful lakes, high mountains, and unsettled land, make for beautiful scenery and bountiful natural settings, enjoyable for anyone who enjoys nature.
For those who prefer the small town setting to the bustle of the city, California enjoys many small towns in the eastern part of the state and north in countrified surroundings that are as different in looks, surroundings, and people’s attitudes from Los Angeles and San Francisco as the European continent is from North America.
California offers diversity like no other state and possesses beauty, culture, entertainment, a temperate climate, and awe inspiring opportunities like no other place on earth, all packaged in one.